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Seven full debuts and Murphy returns as youthful Laois side named for O’Byrne Cup opener

Laois senior footballers

Laois senior football manager Billy Sheehan has named his starting 15 for Wednesday’s O’Byrne Cup opener against Longford.

The game throws in at 8pm in McCann Park in Portarlington and the team named shows seven full debuts.

Former Clare goalkeeper Killian Roche, who has played for Killeshin for the last few years, has been named to start in goal.

The half back line brings debuts for Emo’s Padraig Kirwan and Stradbally’s Darragh Carolan while there is a brand new midfield partnership too.

Portlaoise’s Damon Larkin is set for his first appearance where he will be joined by fellow first time starter Ballyroan-Abbey’s Cathal Doyle.

Former Carlow footballer Lee Walker, who transferred to Graiguecullen last year, is in to start at centre forward while a former goalkeeper has been named in the full forward line.

Clonaslee-St Manman’s Niall Corbet, who spent the last three seasons in between the sticks, is poised for an outfield debut and it is justified following a string of fine performances in that position at club level.

While the rest of the team have started for Laois before, most have very little experience at this level and the average age of the starting team is around 23.

Sean Greene, Kevin Swayne and Sean O’Flynn are the only players named who featured in Laois’s last game – their Tailteann Cup defeat to Westmeath.

This will only be a second start for Greene and Swayne while it is brilliant to see Seamus Lacey of Ballylinan back after recovering from a serious knee injury.

Alex Mohan and Dylan Kavanagh, named at corner back and wing forward respectively, are only in their second season at this level.

The team also shows a return to action for Portarlington’s Colm Murphy who last featured for Laois at the start of the 2020 campaign.

Laois are once again set for a busy start to the year as they travel to Meath on Saturday in Round 2 before hosting Carlow in Stradbally next Wednesday in Round 3.

If they top the group, they play a semi final on Saturday week with the final scheduled for the following Friday night.

After that, Laois will begin their Division 4 league campaign away to Sligo on Sunday January 29.


1 – Killian Roche (Killeshin)
2 – Sean Greene (Emo)
3 – Seamus Lacey (Ballylinan)
4 – Alex Mohan (Portarlington)
5 – Padraig Kirwan (Emo)
6 – Sean O’Flynn (Courtwood)
7 – Darragh Carolan (Stradbally)
8 – Damon Larkin (Portlaoise)
9 – Cathal Doyle (Ballyroan-Abbey)
10 – Kevin Swayne (Portlaoise)
11 – Lee Walker (Graiguecullen)
12 – Dylan Kavanagh (The Heath)
13 – Niall Corbet (Clonaslee-St Manman’s)
14 – Brian Daly (St Joseph’s)
15 – Colm Murphy (Portarlington)

SEE ALSO – HSE provide latest update on out of hours GP service ‘MIDOC’ in Laois

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.